Underemployment In The UK Is Worse Now Than During The 2008 Recession

REUTERS/Darren Staples

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Underemployment in the UK just reached a record high for the past several decades at approximately 3 percent, which represents a larger number of people working unsatisfactory hours than during the 2008 Great Recession.

As Business Insider explains, “Data from Citi Research and the Office for National Statistics shows that the percentage of people who are ‘underemployed’ or working on ‘zero-hours contracts’ — neither of which guarantee full-time work — is greater now than it was in 2008 and 2009, when the country was plunged into a recession triggered by the Great Financial Crisis.”

Underemployment is the result of employees who want more hours than they are already working; zero-hours contracts establish paid hours on a weekly basis instead of guaranteeing a certain amount of consistent work.

Unemployment numbers, however, are much lower than they were during the recession. In March, unemployment fell from 4.4 percent to 4.2 percent, and the UK’s employment rate reached a high of 75.3 percent.

But some analysts are concerned that current underemployment and zero-hours contracts may pose a threat to the country’s future economic stability. As Citi analysts Christian Schulz and Giada Giani told BI, “Wage growth seems to have gone into reverse again early this year.”